SOTT Draft Profile: Kyle Long
NFL pedigree doesn’t come around often and neither does Hall of Fame bloodlines, but that is the story on offensive lineman Kyle Long. His father (Howie) and brother (Chris) are NFL impact players and the question is whether Kyle can reach that potential too.
We talked to Michael Welborn of Fish Duck, a site that looks at Oregon Duck Football. Take a look at what he said about the potential of Long.
Tale of the Tape
Weight: 304 lbs.
Position: Offensive Tackle
Can you give us some background on how Long ended up at Oregon?
Kyle took a circuitous route to join the Ducks. As a two-sport All-American in baseball and football for Saint Anne’s-Belfield high school, and with his brother by his side, he won two Virginia State Championships in football. He was drafted in the 23rd round of the 2008 MLB First-Year player draft by the Chicago White Sox, but he turned that down to accept a baseball scholarship from Florida State. With a mid-90s fastball as a lefty, who could blame him for choosing his first love? But that only lasted a year as he struggled with academics and had a DUI arrest.
Kyle enrolled at Saddleback Junior College in Mission Viejo, California where he played two years. With offers from Oregon, Auburn, SMU, UCLA, USC, Utah, Kyle chose Oregon. Kyle worked his way into the starting rotation and has seen extensive action—highly unusual for a Junior College transfer in his first year.
What did he mean to the Ducks Program?
Kyle added needed depth on the front line along with NFL strength and size.
We know Kyle has a rich NFL tradition from his Dad and brother. Can he be an impact player like them?
Kyle’s skills set has been described as “Raw.” The fact that he has been able to get so far in a talented program like Oregon speaks volumes about his upside potential. I believe we’ll be talking about him for a long time to come.
What are his strengths?
With his height of 6’6” and long arms, he looks the part. He has the strength to make blocks on the move and the flexibility to stay low in his stance and use his power to explode into his blocks. He also has the mobility to get out in front of running plays or move the pocket when the pass protection involves a roll-out. Excellent mobility given his size, has no issues moving behind the line or pulling in front of plays — hitting multiple targets at times. He displays the footwork to get the outside angle on run blocks, move well on zone plays, and also sustain while his man is trying to spin out of pass pro blocks. Plays with attitude, backs up his teammates on the field.
What are his weaknesses?
He’s only played one year of Division I football so he still needs to build his skill set. Still needs to work on following through—doesn’t always hold a block–allowing his man to disengage. Similarly, will lunge at linebackers when he reaches the second level. Struggles to keep his hands inside of the defender. The pros may look at his Florida State experience as a flag, but given his dedication at the junior college level and the hard work at Oregon should overshadow that.
How do you see Long projecting in the NFL?
Not even on the NFL radar at the beginning of the season, Kyle has moved quickly up the board. At 6-6 304, he’s very athletic for his size. The fact that he hasn’t played 5 years in college too might be to his advantage—like a low mileage late model sports car—only driven on weekends when the sun was shining. Right now he’s projected a 3rd round prospect, he could go higher given his potential.